Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Teller Of Tall Tales...!

Many of the folks who could spin a good yarn made a great living doing just that!

Back in the early days, most folks didn't seem to care if the stories were true or not...as long as they were exciting! Often the stories didn't have many actual facts or even the slightest grain of truth, but they were popular, to say the least!

Seems like the more outrageous they were, the more the masses liked them! Here is a good example!
Mar 20, 1823:
Ned Buntline born

Ned Buntline, the "dime millionaire" and discoverer of Buffalo Bill, is born in Stamford, New York.

Perhaps more than any single writer, Ned Buntline was responsible for creating a highly romanticized and somewhat misleading image of the American West as the setting for great adventure and excitement. Born Edward Zane Carroll Judson, in 1845 he founded a sensationalistic magazine, called Ned Buntline's Own, in Nashville, Tennessee-Ned Buntline became the best known of several pseudonyms he used during his career.

Buntline's goal in life was straightforward: he wanted to make as much money as possible writing stories that the public would pay to read. He filled the pages of Ned Buntline's Own with all manner of outrageous stories, having a particular affinity for nautical adventures. An incorrigible womanizer (he married seven times), in 1846 he killed a jealous husband who suspected him of seducing his wife. Although Buntline had acted in self-defense, townspeople sympathetic to the dead man hanged Buntline from an awning post in the public square. Luckily, Buntline's friends cut the rope before he strangled and he was spirited out of town.

Buntline relocated to New York, where he resumed publishing his magazine. Though he had once dreamed of becoming a serious writer, he was desperate to make a living so he began to write more for a mass audience. Buntline's popular adventures were wildly successful, and he churned out dozens of melodramatic "shocking" stories over the course of only a few years. By the time he was in his late 20s, Buntline had earned the title "King of the Dime Novels" and was making an excellent living.
After traveling to San Francisco in 1869, Buntline realized he could easily adapt his stock adventure plots to a setting in the American West. At about the same time he met a handsome young scout and buffalo hunter named William Frederick Cody. Buntline claimed to have given Cody the nickname "Buffalo Bill," though Cody said he earned the name years before as a hunter for the railroads.

Buntline's decision to write a dime novel starring Buffalo Bill Cody made the relatively unknown scout into a national media star. Buntline's book The Scout of the Plains grossly exaggerated Cody's western adventures, but the public loved the thrilling tale. Always the promoter, Buntline turned the novel into a play that he staged in Chicago. In 1872, Buntline convinced Cody to travel to the city and play himself in the production. Cody was a poor actor, but his participation brought in people and money.

Cody broke with Buntline after a year, but the national fame he gained because of Buntline's work eventually allowed "Buffalo Bill" to create his famous Wild West show. Buntline churned out other western dime novels, and he eventually became the nation's top literary money earner, surpassing the income of writers like Walt Whitman and Mark Twain. Buntline prized his wealth, but he remained scornful of his own work. "I found that to make a living I must write 'trash' for the masses, for he who endeavors to write for the critical few, and do his genius justice, will go hungry if he has no other means of support."

Buntline died at his home in Stamford, New York, in 1886. He was 63 years old and had written more than 400 novels and countless other short stories and articles

Ya know, there is a lot of similarity in the old "dime novels" and the modern day newspapers! Seems to me that so many of the things we read in the papers now days are edited and manipulated to the point of almost being total works of fiction!

Just my opinion, but I reckon that the old saying "don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see!" could very easily be applied to news sources as well! Again, that's just my opinion!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning, as the rain is coming back with a vengeance today! At least that what the talking heads that do the weather say!


Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

Good story. 'Ya always come up with a good one! Send the rain this way - we sure need it here. Coffee sounds good; I'll bring the honey biscuits and strawberry jam.

Sixbears said...

Good one this morning. Precursor to the days of the pulps.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting, I knew the name Buntline, mainly through connection with long barrelled Colt Peacemakers, but had no other knowledge of the individual. Sounds like someone who knew how to "make a quick buck."

Thanks HermitJim.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Was there really a Buntline Special? An extra long barrel handgun that he supposedly gave to Wyatt Earp? I have read where that was not true.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
I would certainy be glad to send you at least half this rain! We are going to have way too much if this keeps up!

Bring on the honey biscuits! I'm ready!

Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Sixbears...
Guess you might say he was the creator of pulp magazines!

Whatever you call it, he made a lot of money at it.

Thanks, my friend, for coming over today!

Hey Anon 7:25...
Lots of controversy surrounds the famous Buntline Special supposedly given to LEO's like Wyatt Earp.

Still, the gun was real. As always, the addition of a good mystery about it only added to the fame of the gun!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Dizzy...
You bet the gun was real! You can find several good articles about it if you Google it.

The question of whether or not it was presented to law officers by Buntline is another story!

No records can be found of an order from him for any of the guns.

Just another mystery, I guess!

Thanks for coming by today, buddy!

JOJO said...

Good story always love stories about folks with imagination.

I have to run for some blood work now so save me some coffee please.

HermitJim said...

Hey JoJo...
Ol' Ned had a good imagination if nothing else!

Hope the blood work turns out OK. I'll save ya some fresh coffee and maybe a piece of sweet potato pie!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by today!

The Griper said...

imagination, yup, sounds a lot like politicians too. the difference being that Ned was honest enough to be out for the "buck" while politicians are out for the "vote".

HermitJim said...

Hey Griper...
If I had my choice, I'd rather vote for ol' Ned instead of some of the "bobble heads" we have in politics today!

This is just about the most disgusting campaign I have ever seen. I don't see a single person (except Ron Paul) worthy of my trust or vote!

Hey, thanks for coming by today!

Craig Cavanaugh said...

Yeah there are some pretty tall tales in the local fish wrapper on up to the national media.

BBC said...

Never heard of Ned Buntline before this post.

People love fiction because reality is too weird for them to handle.

Fucking rain, I'm sick and tired of all this fucking rain.

BBC said...

And Billy Bob hates the reality of me. LOL

HermitJim said...

Hey Craig...
That seems to be the reality of the main stream media! More lies than truth, and often the truth that they do print is mainly twisted!

Thanks, buddy, for coming by today!

Hey BBC...
The lines between fiction and reality become a little more blurred every day!

What once was considered way far out, is now very close to becoming everyday commonplace.

Thanks for coming by today!